Used MINI Countryman review

A full used buyer’s guide on the MINI Countryman covering the Countryman Mk2 (2017-date)

The Austin and Morris Mini of 1959 rewrote the rulebook when it came to brilliant packaging, affordability and a great driving experience.

But the motoring world had moved on by the time BMW launched its all-new MINI in 2001, with buyers expecting much more in terms of comfort and safety. As a result the new MINI hatch was much bigger, not so efficiently packaged and less affordable thanks to BMW’s aspirations to take the MINI brand upmarket. But BMW had only just got started, because a raft of bigger cars followed, the largest of which was the Countryman SUV of 2010. The Mk2 covered here came six years later, and was larger, plusher and more sophisticated than ever.

Models covered

  • MINI Countryman Mk2 (2017-date) - Countryman is a great choice for those wanting MINI style with more practicality.

History

MINI’s second-generation Countryman landed in showrooms in April 2017, priced from £22,465. Buyers could choose from 134bhp Cooper and 189bhp Cooper S petrol models, or 148bhp Cooper D and 187bhp Cooper SD diesels. All were available with front or four-wheel drive (badged All4) and with an automatic or manual gearbox, apart from the auto-only Cooper SD.

The performance-orientated 228bhp John Cooper Works (JCW) arrived in spring 2017 with standard four-wheel drive; the plug-in hybrid Cooper S E All4 joined the range in June 2017 with an emphasis on economy.

A facelifted Countryman arrived in May 2020 and featured a new grille, standard LED head and rear lights, updated engines and a new digital dashboard with a five-inch colour screen. There were also fresh colours and finishes inside and out.

Which one should I buy?

Whichever powertrain you choose, you’ll probably love your Countryman; the plug-in hybrid offers an impressive balance between performance and economy, but this model is expensive, and a diesel offers comparable economy for less initial outlay.

From the outset all Countrymans came with alloys, air-con, DAB radio and sat-nav; most buyers chose a Chili Pack that brought part-leather trim, climate control and bigger 18 or 19-inch rims. From October 2018 there was a new trim structure, with buyers still able to pick between Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper D models, but now there were Classic, Sport and Exclusive trims, plus the extensive options list. The Classic comes with 16 or 17-inch wheels; the Sport features 18-inch alloys, sports seats and a bodykit, while the Exclusive has leather-trimmed seats.

Alternatives to the MINI Countryman

The Countryman sits between the B and C-segment SUV sectors in terms of size, but its premium pricing means that you can buy bigger cars for your money. These include compact SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. If these are too big, the SEAT Arona, Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq might suit; they’re essentially all the same car but with different badges.

Other small SUVs worth considering are the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur and Mazda CX-3. If you fancy something a little bigger that still has a premium feel, you should look at the Audi Q3, Volkswagen T-Roc and BMW X1.

What to look for

Codes

The original MINI Countryman was codenamed R60 by BMW; the Mk2 was dubbed the F60.

Plug-in hybrid

The PHEV can officially cover 25 miles in electric mode and return 134mpg; real-world figures are closer to 18 miles and 60mpg.

Towing

Most Countrymans are capable of towing up to 1,500kg, but the four-wheel-drive All4 Cooper S can haul as much as 1,800kg.

Rattles

Dashboard rattles aren’t unusual in the Mk2, but fixing them is long-winded because it means significant dismantling of the Countryman’s dash.

Interior

MINI has always put an emphasis on design as well as quality, and both are evident in abundance here. Fit and finish are excellent and there are neat design touches everywhere you look, but there’s no hint of style over substance because everything is also pretty user-friendly.

Passenger space is fairly decent too, with lots of headroom and a sliding rear seat that allows anywhere between 450 and 1,390 litres of boot capacity depending on whether the seats are slid forwards or back, or folded up or down. The Countryman gets an 8.8-inch colour infotainment display as standard, with nav and Apple CarPlay included. An extra £1,300 buys the Navigation Plus Pack, with a digital cockpit display, wireless charging and Amazon Alexa.

Prices

You can buy a MINI Countryman from as as little as £5,499 on our sister site BuyaCar.

Running costs

MINI Countryman owners can choose fixed or condition-based servicing. The former allows up to 12 months or 10,000 miles between visits to the garage, while the latter normally flags up that maintenance is due after 18,000 miles or two years, although it can be less than this depending on how the car is driven.

An oil change costs £111, an oil and filter change is £183, while a fresh air filter and spark plugs, plus an engine oil and filter change is £304. Most MINIs come with the balance of a TLC pre-paid servicing package, which lasts five years or 50,000 miles; you can see if a Countryman has the balance of a TLC package remaining at tinyurl.com/suy4dk3k. All Countryman engines are chain-driven, so there are no timing belts to replace.

Recalls

The MINI Countryman Mk2 has been recalled eight times so far, the first coming in July 2018 because of faulty front suspension, which could collapse while the car was being driven. Some models left the factory without a crash protection plate for the fuel pump; these were recalled in September 2018 to have the plate fitted.

Since then there have been further campaigns due to incorrect crankshaft sensor software (October 2018), short circuits in an electronic circuit board (March 2019), faulty steering components (April 2020) and curtain airbag glitches (May 2020). The two most recent recalls came in August and October 2020; the first was launched because of leaking exhaust gas recirculation module coolers, while the second one was down to faulty batteries being fitted in plug-in hybrid models.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The Countryman hasn’t appeared in our Driver Power new or used-car surveys, but the Mk3 MINI hatch was 55th out of 100 in our 2019 used-car poll. In that same year MINI came 18th in the brands section, but in 2020 the firm tumbled to 26th out of 30, let down by high servicing costs and poor front-seat comfort. Owners like the performance, build quality, interior design and driving experience, though.

Verdict

While the word ‘mini’ is not the most inappropriate one when talking about the Countryman, this relatively compact SUV actually fits in with the MINI brand very well. That’s partly why it’s been a great success since the introduction of the Mk1 model. Just like its smaller MINI siblings the Countryman looks smart, and is well made, user-friendly and good to drive. We ran a Countryman Plug-In Hybrid on our test fleet in 2017/18 and loved its blend of usability, comfort, thoughtful design touches and refinement. We averaged around 65mpg in normal use, although this dipped to 56mpg in the winter. The only problem in our time with the car was an erratic hands-free electric tailgate. However, we loved everything else about the Countryman, because the not-so-mini MINI really was that good.

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
18 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 
Porsche Communication Management 6.0 911
Porsche

Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 

Porsche’s sixth-generation touchscreen will be rolled out across the firm’s line-up, adding new connectivity features and natural voice control
17 Jun 2021